The Words of Jacob the Brother of Nephi
abridged by Nephi. composed ca. 560 bc
Which he spake unto the people of Nephi:
Behold, my beloved brethren, I, Jacob, having been called of God, and ordained
After the manner of his holy order, and having been consecrated
By my brother Nephi, unto whom ye look as a king
Or a protector, and on whom ye depend for safety, behold
Ye know that I have spoken unto you exceedingly many things.
Nevertheless, I speak unto you again. For I am desirous
For the welfare of your souls. Yea, mine anxiety is great for you!
And ye yourselves know that it ever has been.
For I have exhorted you with all diligence and I have taught you
The words of my father and I have spoken unto you concerning
All things which are written, from the creation of the world.
And now, behold, I would speak unto you concerning things
Which are, and which are to come; wherefore, I will read you
The Words of Isaiah. And they are the words which my brother
Has desired that I should speak unto you. And I speak unto you
For your sakes, that ye may learn and glorify the name of your god.
And now, the words which I shall read are they which Isaiah spake
Concerning all the House is Israel; wherefore, they may be
Likened unto you, for ye are of the House of Israel.
And there are many things which have been
Spoken by Isaiah which may be likened unto you, because ye are
Of the House of Israel. And now, these are the words:
Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will lift up mine hand
To the gentiles, and set up my standard to the people; and they shall bring
Thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon
Their shoulders. And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens
Thy nursing mothers. They shall bow down to thee with their faces
Towards the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know That I am the Lord; For they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
And now I, Jacob, would speak somewhat concerning these words.
For behold, the Lord has shown me that those who were at Jerusalem,
From whence we came, have been slain and carried away
Captive. Nevertheless, the Lord has shown unto me that
They should return again. And he also has shown unto me that the Lord God,
The Holy One of Israel, should manifest himself unto them in the flesh;
And after he should manifest himself they should scourge him and crucify him,
According to the words of the angel who spake it unto me.
And after they have hardened their hearts and stiffened their necks against
The Holy One of Israel, behold, the judgments of the Holy One of Israel
Shall come upon them. And the day cometh that they shall be
Smitten and afflicted. Wherefore, after they are driven to and fro,
For thus saith the angel,
Many shall be afflicted in the flesh, and shall not be suffered to perish,
Because of the prayers of the faithful; they shall be scattered,
And smitten, and hated; nevertheless, the Lord will be merciful unto them,
That when they shall come to the knowledge of their redeemer, they shall
Be gathered together again to the lands of their inheritance.
And blessed are the gentiles, they of whom the prophet has written!
For behold, if it so be that they shall repent and fight not against Zion,
And do not unite themselves to that great and abominable church,
They shall be saved! For the Lord God will fulfill his covenants which he has
Made unto his children; and for this cause the prophet has written these things.
Wherefore, they that fight against Zion and the covenant people
Of the Lord shall lick up the dust of their feet! And the people of the Lord
Shall not be ashamed! For the people of the Lord are they who wait for him;
For they still wait for the coming of the messiah.
And behold, according to the words of the prophet, the messiah will set himself
Again the second time to recover them; wherefore, he will manifest himself
Unto them in power and great glory, unto the destruction of their enemies,
When that day cometh when they shall believe in him; and none
Will he destroy that believe in him. And they that believe not in him
Shall be destroyed, both by fire, and by tempest, and by earthquakes,
And by bloodsheds, and by pestilence, and by famine.
And they shall know that the Lord is God, the Holy One of Israel.
For shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?
But thus saith the Lord:
Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away,
And the prey of the terrible shall be delivered.
For the Mighty God shall deliver his covenant people. For thus saith the Lord:
I will contend with them that contendeth with thee –
And I will feed them that oppress thee, with their own flesh!
And they shall be drunken with their own blood as with sweet wine;
And all flesh shall know that I the Lord am
Thy savior and thy redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob.
Yea, for thus saith the Lord: Have I put thee away, or have I cast thee off forever?
For thus saith the Lord: Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement?
To whom have I put thee away, or to which of my creditors have I
Sold you? Yea, to whom have I sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have
Ye sold yourselves. And for your transgressions is your mother put away.
Wherefore, when I came, there was no man; when I called,
Yea, there was none to answer. O House of Israel, is my hand shortened
At all that it cannot redeem, or have I no power to deliver?
Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea,
I make their rivers a wilderness and their fish to stink
Because the waters are dried up, and they die because of thirst.
I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.
The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know
How to speak a word in season unto thee, O House of Israel:
When ye are weary he waketh morning by morning.
He waketh mine ear to hear as the learned.
The Lord God hath opened mine ear,
And I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.
I gave my back to the smiter, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair.
I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded.
Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
And the Lord is near, and he justifieth me. Who will contend with me?
Let us stand together. Who is mine adversary?
Let him come near me, and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth.
For the Lord God will help me. And all they who shall condemn me,
Behold, all they shall wax old as a garment, and the moth shall eat them up.
Who is among you that feareth the Lord? That obeyeth the voice of his servant?
That walketh in darkness and hath no light?
Behold all ye that kindle fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks,
Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled.
This shall ye have of mine hand — ye shall lie down in sorrow.
Hearken unto me, ye that follow after righteousness. Look
Unto the rock from whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit
From whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham, your father,
And unto Sarah, she that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed
Him. For the Lord shall comfort Zion, he will comfort all her waste places;
And he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert
Like the garden of the Lord! Joy and gladness
Shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody!
Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation!
For a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment
To rest for a light for the people.
My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arm
Shall judge the people. The isles shall wait upon me, and on mine
Arm shall they trust. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look
Upon the earth beneath! For the heavens shall vanish away
Like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment;
And they that dwell therein shall die in like manner.
But my salvation shall be forever! And my righteousness shall not
Be abolished! Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness,
The people in whose heart I have written my law,
Fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.
For the moth shall eat them up like a garment,
And the worm shall eat them like wool.
But my righteousness shall be forever, and my salvation
From generation to generation.
Awake, awake! Put on strength, O arm of the Lord.
Awake as in the ancient days. Art thou not he that hath cut Rahab?
And wounded the Dragon? Art thou not he who hath dried the sea?
The waters of the Great Deep?
That hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?
Therefore, the redeemed of the Lord shall return!
And come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy
And holiness shall be upon their heads;
And they shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away!
I am he, yea, I am he that comforteth you.
Behold, who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of man?
Who shall die, and of the Son of Man, who shall be made like unto grass?
And forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens,
And laid the foundations of the earth, and hast feared continually
Every day because of the fury of the oppressor,
As if he were ready to destroy? And where is the fury of the oppressor?
The captive exile hasteneth, that he may be loosed,
And that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail.
But I am the Lord thy god, whose waves roared!
The Lord of Hosts is my name.
And I have put my words in thy mouth, and have covered thee
In the shadow of mine hand that I may plant the heavens
And lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion:
Behold, thou art my people!
Awake, awake! Stand up, O Jerusalem!
Which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury.
Thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling wrung out
And none to guide her among all the sons she hath brought forth;
Neither that taketh her by the hand, of all the sons she hath brought up.
These two sons are come unto thee, who shall be sorry for thee,
Thy desolation and destruction, and the famine and the sword?
And by whom shall I comfort thee? Thy sons have fainted!
Save these two: they lie at the head of all the streets.
As a wild bull in a net, they are full of the fury of the Lord,
The rebuke of thy god. Therefore hear now this,
Thou afflicted, and drunken, and not with wine:
Thus saith thy lord, the Lord and thy god pleadeth the cause of his people:
Behold! I have taken out of thine hand the cup
Of trembling, the dregs of the cup of my fury;
Thou shalt no more drink it again.
But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee;
Who have said to thy soul: Bow down, that we may go over.
And thou hast laid thy body as the ground and as the street
To them that went over. Awake, awake! Put on thy strength, O Zion.
Put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city!
For henceforth there shall no more come into thee
The uncircumcised and the unclean.
Shake thyself from the dust; arise,
Sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck,
O captive daughter of Zion.
And now, my beloved brethren, I have read these things that ye might know
Concerning the covenants of the Lord that he has covenanted with
All the House of Israel: That he has spoken unto the Jews, by the mouth
Of his holy prophets, even from the beginning down,
From generation to generation, until the time comes that they shall be restored
To the true church and fold of God! When they shall be gathered home to
The lands of their inheritance, and shall be established
In all their lands of promise.
Behold, my beloved brethren, I speak unto you these things that ye may rejoice,
And lift up your heads forever! Because of the blessings which the Lord
God shall bestow upon your children. For I know that ye have searched much,
Many of you, to know of things to come:
Wherefore I know that ye know that our flesh must waste away and die;
Nevertheless, in our bodies we shall see God!
Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show
Himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came;
For it is expedient that it should be
Among them; for it behooveth the great creator
That he suffereth himself to become subject unto man
In the flesh, and die for all men, that all men
Might become subject unto him.
For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfill
The merciful plan of the great creator,
There must needs be a power of resurrection,
And the resurrection must needs come unto Man by reason
Of the Fall; and the Fall came by reason of transgression.
And because Man became fallen, they were cut off
From the presence of the Lord.
Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement!
Save it should be an infinite atonement
This corruption could not put on incorruption.
Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man
Must needs have remained to an endless duration.
And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot
And to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.
O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace!
For behold, if the flesh should rise no more
Our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before
The presence of the eternal god, and became the devil to rise no more.
And our spirits must have become like unto him,
And we become devils, angels to a devil,
To be shut out from the presence of our god,
And to remain with the father of lies, in misery,
Like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled
Our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel
Of light, and stirreth up the children of men
Unto secret combinations of murder and all manner
Of secret works of darkness.22Jacob seems to draw on the same text as Lehi previously, in his blessing, without however embellishing upon what are to us, “biblical” traditions.
O how great the goodness of our god, who prepareth a way
For our escape from the grasp of this awful monster!
Yea, that monster: Death and Hell,
Which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit.
And because of the way of deliverance of our god,
The Holy One of Israel,
This death, of which I have spoken,
Which is the temporal, shall deliver up its dead;
Which death is the grave. And this death of which I have spoken,
Which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead;
Which spiritual death is Hell. Wherefore, Death and Hell
Must deliver up their dead, and Hell must deliver up
Its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies,
And the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored!
One to the other. And it is by the power
Of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel.
O how great the plan of our god!
For on the other hand, the paradise of God must deliver up
The spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous;
And the spirit and the body is restored to itself again,
And all men become incorruptible,
And immortal, and they are living souls,
Having a perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh, save it be
That our knowledge shall be perfect.
Wherefore, we shall have a perfect knowledge
Of all our guilt, and our uncleanness, and our nakedness;
And the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge
Of their enjoyment, and their righteousness,
Being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness.
And it shall come to pass that when all men shall have passed
From this first death unto life, insomuch as they
Have become immortal, they must appear
Before the judgment-seat of the Holy One of Israel;
And then cometh the judgment, and then must they be judged
According to the holy judgment of God.
And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the Lord God hath spoken it,
And it is his eternal word, which cannot pass away!
That they who are righteous shall be righteous still,
And they who are filthy shall be filthy still;
Wherefore, they who are filthy are the Devil and his angels;
And they shall go away into everlasting fire, prepared for them;
And their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame
Ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end.
O the greatness and the justice of our god!
For he executeth all his words, and they have gone forth out
Of his mouth, and his law must be fulfilled.
But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel,
They who have believed in the Holy One of Israel,
They who have endured the crosses of the world,
And despised the shame of it,
They shall inherit the Kingdom of God, which was prepared
For them from the foundation of the world,
And their joy shall be full forever.
O the greatness of the mercy of our god, the Holy One of Israel!
For he delivereth his saints from that awful monster,
The Devil and Death and Hell, and that lake of fire and brimstone,
Which is endless torment. O how great the holiness of our god!
For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it.
And he cometh into the world that he may save all men
If they will hearken unto his voice;
For behold, he suffereth the pains of all men,
Yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women,
And children, who belong to the family of Adam.
And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men,
That all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.
And he commandeth all men that they must repent,
And be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel,
Or they cannot be saved in the Kingdom of God.
And if they will not repent and believe in his name,
And be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned!
For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it.
Wherefore, he has given a law; and where there is no law given
There is no punishment; and where there is no punishment
There is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation
The mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them,
Because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him.
For the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice
Upon all those who have not the law given to them,
That they are delivered from that awful monster,
Death and Hell and the Devil, and the lake of fire and brimstone,
Which is endless torment.
And they are restored to that God who gave them breath,
Which is the Holy One of Israel.
But wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has
All the commandments of God, like unto us,
And that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation,
For awful is his state! O that cunning plan of the evil one!
O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men!
When they are learned they think they are wise,
And they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside,
Supposing they know of themselves. Wherefore,
Their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not.
And they shall perish. But
To be learned is good, if they hearken unto the counsels of God.
But wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world!
For because they are rich they despise the poor, and they persecute the meek,
And their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore,
Their treasure is their god. And behold,
Their treasure shall perish with them also.
And wo unto the deaf that will not hear; for they shall perish!
Wo unto the blind that will not see; for they shall perish also!
Wo unto the uncircumcised of heart!
For a knowledge of their iniquities shall smite them at the last day.
Wo unto the liar, for he shall be thrust down to Hell!
Wo unto the murderer who deliberately killeth, for he shall die!
Wo unto them who commit whoredoms, for they shall be thrust down to Hell!
Yea, wo unto those that worship idols, for the Devil of all
Devils delighteth in them! And, in fine, wo unto all those who die in their sins;
For they shall return to God, and behold his face, and remain in their sins.
O, my beloved brethren, remember the awfulness in transgressing
Against that holy god,
And also the awfulness of yielding to the enticings of that cunning one.
Remember, to be carnally-minded is death,
And to be spiritually-minded is life eternal.
O, my beloved brethren, give ear to my words!
Remember the greatness of the Holy One of Israel.
Do not say that I have spoken hard things against you;
For if ye do, ye will revile against the truth;
For I have spoken the words of your maker.
I know that the words of truth are hard against all uncleanness;
But the righteous fear them not, for they love the truth
And are not shaken.
O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One.
Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow,
But it lieth in a straight course before him,
And the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel;
And he employeth no servant there;
And there is none other way save it be by the gate;
For he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.
And whoso knocketh, to him will he open.
And the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich:
Who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches
Yea, they are they whom he despiseth!
And save they shall cast these things away,
And consider themselves fools before God, and come down
In the depths of humility, he will not open unto them.
But the things of the wise and the prudent shall be hid from them forever:
Yea, that happiness which is prepared for the saints.
O, my beloved brethren, remember my words.
Behold, I take off my garments, and I shake them before you!
I pray the god of my salvation that he view me with his all-searching eye.
Wherefore, ye shall know at the last day, when all men shall be judged
Of their works, that the god of Israel did witness that I
Shook your iniquities from my soul, and that I stand
With brightness before him, and am rid of your blood.
O, my beloved brethren, turn away from your sins!
Shake off the chains of him that would bind you fast,
Come unto that god who is the rock of your salvation.
Prepare your souls for that glorious day when justice shall be administered
Unto the righteous, even the day of judgment,
That ye may not shrink with awful fear;
That ye may not remember your awful guilt in perfectness,
And be constrained to exclaim: Holy, holy are thy
Judgments, O Lord God Almighty! But I know my guilt;
I transgressed thy law, and my transgressions are mine;
And the Devil hath obtained me, that I am a prey to his awful misery.
But behold, my brethren, is it expedient that I should awaken you
To an awful reality of these things? Would I harrow up your souls
If your minds were pure? Would I be plain unto you
According to the plainness of the truth if ye were freed from sin?
Behold, if ye were holy I would speak unto you of holiness!
But as ye are not holy, and ye look upon me as a teacher,
It must needs be expedient that I teach you the consequences of sin.
Behold, my soul abhorreth sin, and my heart delighteth in righteousness;
And I will praise the holy name of my god.
Come, my brethren, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters!
And he that hath no money, come buy and eat;
Yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is
Of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy.
Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken!
And come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast
Upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted,
And let your soul delight in fatness.
Behold, my beloved brethren, remember the words of your god.
Pray unto him continually by day,
And give thanks unto his holy name by night.
Let your hearts rejoice. And behold how great the covenants of the Lord,
And how great his condescensions unto the children of men!
And because of his greatness, and his grace and mercy,
He has promised unto us that our seed shall not utterly
Be destroyed, according to the flesh, but that he would preserve them;
And in future generations they shall become a righteous branch
Unto the House of Israel. And now, my brethren, I would speak unto you more. But on the morrow I will declare unto you the remainder of my words. Amen.
And now I, Jacob, speak unto you again, my beloved brethren, concerning this righteous branch of which I have spoken. For behold, the promises which we have obtained are promises unto us according to the flesh; wherefore, as it has been shown unto me that many of our children shall perish in the flesh because of unbelief, nevertheless, God will be merciful unto many; And our children shall be restored, that, that they may come to that which will give them the true knowledge of their redeemer. Wherefore, as I said unto you, it must needs be expedient that Christ, for in the last night the angel spake unto me that this should be his name, should come among the Jews, among those who are the more wicked part of the world. And they shall crucify him, for it behooveth our god, and there is none other nation on earth that would crucify their god.
For should the mighty miracles be wrought among other nations they would repent, and know that he be their god. Because of priestcrafts and iniquities, they at Jerusalem will stiffen their necks against him, that he be crucified. Wherefore, because of their iniquities, destructions, famines, pestilences, and bloodshed shall come upon them; And they who shall not be destroyed shall be scattered among all nations.
But behold, thus saith the Lord God:
When the day cometh that they shall believe in me,
That I am Christ! Then have I covenanted
With their fathers that they shall be restored
In the flesh, upon the earth, unto the lands of their inheritance.
And it shall come to pass that they shall be gathered in
From their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea,
And from the four parts of the earth; and the nations
Of the gentiles shall be great in the eyes of me, saith God,
In carrying them forth to the lands of their inheritance.
Yea, the kings of the gentiles shall be nursing fathers unto them,
And their queens shall become nursing mothers;
Wherefore, the promises of the Lord are great unto the gentiles,
For he hath spoken it, and who can dispute?
But behold, this land, saith God, shall be a land of thine inheritance,
And the gentiles shall be blessed upon the land.
And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the gentiles,
And there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise
Up unto the gentiles. And I will fortify this land against
All other nations. And he that fighteth against Zion shall perish,
Saith God. For he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish,
For I, the Lord, the King of Heaven, will be their king!
And I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words.
Wherefore, for this cause, that my covenants may
Be fulfilled which I have made unto the children of men, that I will
Do unto them while they are in the flesh, I must needs destroy
The secret works of darkness, and of murders,
And of abominations. Wherefore, he that fighteth
Against Zion, both Jew and gentile, both bond and free,
Both male and female, shall perish!
For they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they
Who are not for me are against me, saith our god.
For I will fulfill my promises which I have made unto the children of men,
That I will do unto them while they are in the flesh.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, thus saith our god:
I will afflict thy seed by the hand of the gentiles;
Nevertheless, I will soften the hearts of the gentiles,
That they shall be like unto a father to them; wherefore,
The gentiles shall be blessed and numbered among the House of Israel.
Wherefore, I will consecrate this land unto thy seed,
And them who shall be numbered among thy seed, forever,
For the land of their inheritance; for it is a choice land,
Saith God unto me, above all other lands,
Wherefore I will have all men that dwell thereon
That they shall worship me, saith God.
And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful god has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins! And not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off!
Nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our inheritance. But we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea. But great are the promises of the Lord unto them who are upon the isles of the sea! Wherefore as it says isles, there must needs be more than this, And they are inhabited also by our brethren.
For behold, the Lord God has led away from time to time from the House of Israel, according to his will and pleasure. And now behold, the Lord remembereth all them who have been broken off, wherefore he remembereth us also. Therefore, cheer up your hearts! And remember that ye are free to act for yourselves — to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life!
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh. And remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved! Wherefore, may God raise you from death by the power of the resurrection, and also from everlasting death by the power of the atonement, that ye may be received into the eternal kingdom of God, that ye may praise him through grace divine. Amen.
And now, Jacob spake many more things to my people at that time.
Nevertheless only these things have I caused to be written,
for the things which I have written, sufficeth me.